Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents

By Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan et al. | Go to book overview

14
Speech at the Theoretical Discussion Meeting Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee [Excerpts]

SU SHAOZHI

Source: Shijie jingji daobao ( World economic herald) ( Shanghai) ( December 26, 1988): 3, 15; FBIS, January 13, 1989, pp. 19-23.

I come here to attend this theoretical discussion meeting marking the third plenary session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee [of December 1978] because I firmly support the spirit of the third plenary session, and also because I hope that unity among theoreticians will be achieved. My speech today is also for the purpose of enhancing unity.


Drawing Lessons and Unity Among Theoreticians

I was one of the participants in that meeting ten years ago to discuss theoretical principles. That meeting was the freest and most lively one to be held since the founding of the PRC. It was during that meeting that some principles which are universally accepted nowadays, for example annulment of the life tenure system for leading posts, were put forward. However, the participants in today's meeting are strongly encouraged to concentrate on more practical issues and not touch theoretical problems. We are also asked "not to quibble over the past." In fact, history should not and cannot be cut apart. Our purpose in summing up our past experience is to draw lessons from it so that we can do a better job in the future. Why don't people want to mention that discussion meeting on theoretical principles? Why should we not discuss theoretical principles? How can we make progress without discussing theoretical principles, summing up our experience, and drawing lessons from our

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